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Featured I don't feel safe here anymore

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pinkie B, Jul 2, 2019.

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  1. Pinkie B

    Pinkie B Just Me

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    To everyone who has welcomed me here, thank you. You've helped me immensely in my journey to knowing and accepting myself.

    Unfortunately, I just cannot understand why all of a sudden "women" have been demoted to "females". It is so upsetting what with all the rest of the world trying to tell us that we're less than human, then to come to this supposed safe space and it seems like it's every third post. I'm not a life support system for a vagina!! I'm a whole person! A WOMAN!

    I don't know where this language is coming from, but it's so upsetting that I don't want to be here anymore.
     
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  2. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't understand Pinkie? What is it about the words women and female that makes you feel unsafe? Can you explain?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  3. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    It will be such a shame if you leave @Pinkie B. I always really enjoy hearing your insights and input. I've also noticed instances of misogyny on this site, and it really is discouraging. I'm here because I'm autistic, but I'm also a woman, and it's like you have to pick which one of those identities you're going to prioritize.

    You'll definitely be missed if you leave, so I hope you do decide to stick around and fight the good fight, calling people out on their misogyny to help make this site a safer space that autistic women would actually want to be a part of.
     
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  4. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I suspect that most people use the term "woman" and "female" interchangeably to refer to the same very broad, complex, and multi-faceted concept(s) in the same way that they use the terms "man" and "male" interchangeably.

    I don't know if this helps or makes it worse....I'm struggling to understand and hoping to be helpful.
     
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  5. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    I think "female" has quite biological, reductionist connotations, personally. As Pinkie said, it's like reducing women down to their vagina. Women is a full social identity. Female is a biological designation.
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    News to me. A first, in fact. I don't know a soul who makes such a distinction to this degree. GLBTQ, straight, regardless of gender. :confused:

    Personally I would use either female or woman interchangeably, without giving it a thought other than perhaps a scientific context. With the term "female" being slightly more formal and impersonal I suppose. Without any thought of it intended to demean anyone in any way.

    Is this some kind of a generational perspective? The English language has only so many formal ways of addressing gender before we resort to slang terms which admittedly can have a greater variety of meaning and intent to a point of becoming problematic.

    I think one must concede that it all comes down to intent rather than word choice alone. Where potentially anyone can speak disparagingly of anyone or any thing through intonation or pitch apart from a choice in words.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  7. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    It's not about generation. It's about being respectful to the terminology that people prefer to have used about themselves and people like them.
     
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  8. HidinginPlainSight

    HidinginPlainSight Well-Known Member

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    This could be the case, but in fairness to the OP, it is in fact an internet trend to use the term "female" dismissively and likely should be avoided.

    It certainly would seem odd to me if I heard, "This male came up to me and........" or "There was a male on the street........"

    If anyone was doing it unintentionally they should probably stop once they know better and anyone doing it intentionally should stop too.
     
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  9. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    This is helpful, thank you.

    I have never thought of the words that way. It does make sense to me, this perspective, although I cannot say that I now see the words exactly the same way in a general sense.

    I still suspect most individuals wouldn't be doing that on purpose and using "female" instead of "woman" wouldn't actually reflect that kind of reductionist thought process/conceptual framework...if for no other reason than most people are not overly precise with words and don't think very much about sex/gender in any context (e.g. context of social identity, context of biology).....

    .....But I am not claiming that the distinction between the words doesn't exist for anyone or in any context and I am also very curious about it as a social phenomenon reflecting the gender norms in broader society, if women are more often referred to as "female" than men are referred to as "male" -- or at least more often in certain contexts that would be telling, as far as a reduction-to-body-parts implication.

    I could be wrong of course, I only really know how it is for me -- how I use words and think about things, and how well (or poorly) words may reflect my thoughts. I don't have a typical set of ideas about sex/gender ....the conventional social things I am often oblivious to, confused by, or think are stupid.... and as for the biological things, well, let's just say that the (often seemingly willful) ignorance most people have about the incredible complexity of sexual differentiation saddens and frustrates me to no end. I also use words a bit oddly, and my thoughts are not in words.....perhaps the distinction is very clear and unavoidable for people who use language differently or think in a different format. I could be the odd one out and just not see it.
     
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  10. Juliettaa

    Juliettaa Black Sheep. Society of One. V.I.P Member

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    I'm really confused by this thread as I was 'called out' by @Pinkie B for challenging what I felt were blatant sexist comments on another thread. And just for the record, no one was actually 'ganging up' on the previous thread.



    As people have said earlier in the thread, woman/women and female are words that are used interchangeably. I haven't witnessed any intent to be offensive with regard to the use of those words. That's not to say it hasn't happened; I just haven't seen it.

    Not to my knowledge.


    Defend sexist comments but feel unsafe by use of word female rather than woman?? I'm very confused.

    @Pinkie B - why not stay and try to raise awareness? What is it that makes you feel unsafe?
     
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  11. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I had no idea people did this.

    Thanks for the info.
     
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  12. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Don't go, Pinkie.

    And don't take these instances of using "female" as a personal affront - but use them as opportunities to educate, to consciousness-raise.

    I will back you!
     
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  13. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    I feel a little taken aback by some of the responses here. I know there's the potential for false equivalences, but since a lot of us are autistic here, we surely know how language can affect people, don't we? It's not a matter of intent, or "never thought about it" or dismissing the person as getting offended over nothing.

    There are people that use ableist language all the time, with no ill-intent, they just don't know better or have never thought about it. But that doesn't make it fine then, no need to change anything. Especially when they've been told, "Hey, this thing you're saying is dehumanizing. Could you not say that anymore?" At that point, continuing to say it or dismissing it as hypersensitive is really disrespectful.
     
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  14. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Just Enjoying Survival V.I.P Member

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    I don't like how the term female is used sometimes, either. Animals are male and female. My dog is a female.
    Female is biologically correct, but socially I am a woman.
     
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  15. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't mind being referred to as female.
    At my school being called female was preferred over
    being called girl.

    Male and female were thought of as being more objective
    than the words woman/girl/lady, or man/boy/gentleman.
     
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  16. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I was not attempting to be dismissive or saying that it's over-sensitivity. I was trying to explain my perspective and offer a different way to look at the situation in the hopes it might might @Pinkie B feel less unsafe.** And I do intend to try to remember to avoid calling women "females" from now on because I don't want to be disrespectful or convey a meaning I don't intend to convey.

    **To my mind intent does matter at least as much as the words someone uses. I would rather see a person who actually cared about me and respected me call me horrible homophobic slurs with good intent (out of ignorance, never having been asked or told not to -- or just forgetfulness, in light of new ideas about words) than see a person who hated me and wanted me to not exist use respectful terms with hatred and disgust and other ill-intent.
     
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  17. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't calling you out @the_tortoise, I thought your replies were respectful and took on board other perspectives, even if it wasn't something you'd thought about before.

    I don't agree about intent being the only thing that matters. While I do agree that the "right" words can be used with ill-intent, I don't think that once something has been pointed out to someone as being not okay, them refusing to listen and breaking down the ways that actually it's fine and it's just semantics and you're being oversensitive is okay. But again, I was more talking about Judge's reply, which I see has now been edited.
     
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  18. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Pinkie B - I hope you don't leave. I've enjoyed your input. I wasn't on here for several days so I may have missed some things or maybe I'm just naïve to terminology Is it just the word female that you find offensive?
    It's interesting about words, really. There are some words that I don't like to use just because it feels or sounds weird to me when I say them - typing, too because as I'm typing I'm saying the words in my head. For some strange reason, woman is on that list. Nothing wrong with the term, it just feels weird when I say it. So I use female a lot just for that reason. I may say something like some lady came up to me before saying some woman came up to me and sometimes I don't know what to say so I'll use male and female for my ease instead of man and woman. I will also try to be more aware. :)
     
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  19. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Any words can be used in an offensive way, and people can be offended by things that no one else cares about. I don't understand why Pinkie is upset with this site in particular. Law enforcement uses "male" and "female" in physical descriptions and incident reports. I hope there isn't going to be another social movement to ban "female" from the lexicon just in case someone is offended.
     
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  20. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    I often say "female" to mean both girls and women, such as when I say "female aspies". It feels awkward saying "girls and women" all the time. Same as when I say "male" to mean both boys and men.
     
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